The April 2018 Third Thursday SGVHAK Meetup was a big day for Sawppy the Rover. It was the day a backpack full of 3D printed parts and a stack of aluminum extrusion beams met to take the shape that would become Sawppy.
At the beginning of the evening, Sawppy’s left-side rocker-bogie was fully assembled. This earlier assembly gave first hand physical feedback that its component pieces were overbuilt. The right-hand side suspension adopted the slimmed-down revision so we can compare side by side after the printed parts are assembled. The main body box and differential connecting the two sides were in a similar state – printed parts awaiting assembly.
[mle_makes] volunteered to help with assembly and the two of us started putting Sawppy together while chit-chatting with everybody else at the SGGHAK meet. Some of the discussions were motivated by people looking over the rover’s design and construction technique, and the positive feedback was a major encouragement for me to write it up for Hackaday.
Several hours of assembly later, we could definitely see the outline of a rover but the night was winding down and people started talking about leaving but not everything on the rover was buttoned up yet. It was close – we could taste it!
In order to show off to everyone who attended the meet, as well as letting [mle_makes] get some satisfaction for an evening’s worth of work, I decided to push the remaining assemblies together hoping they’ll stay together just by friction. It worked… somewhat. People at the meet got a lot more interested when they could see the rover in assembled state, even if it’s just loosely held together and has a tendency to fall apart every few minutes.
There are still a few more hours of physical assembly remaining before Sawppy can really stand on its own six wheels, but that milestone isn’t far away.